Since I wrote about the Jays options concerning pitchers in free agency, might as well talk about the batters! I know that Toronto’s not really in need of that much more offense, but there are some solid options when you look at the players set to hit the market on midnight saturday. If the Jays are going to go after batters, here’s who I believe they should take a look at:
1. David Ortiz- How nice would it be, after this whole John Ferrell fiasco, to get David Ortiz to suit up for the Blue Jays next year. That would be like the ultimate payback to Boston, who basically stole half our managerial staff just a few weeks ago. I have no clue if Ortiz would ever even consider coming to play at the Dome, but I’d certainly like seeing him hit a few out against his former team, for the Jays no less.
2. Josh Hamilton- I dont necessarily believe that the Jays NEED Hamilton, but if you have the opportunity to go after someone with his talent level, you do it. Toronto already has a backed up outfield, especially with Rajai Davis returning on a 1-year deal. If we did end up getting Hamilton, it would make other players expendable. This could end up being a good thing, as we could wind up possibly grabbing a starter to fill out rotation. People that would become moveable include Rasmus, Sierra, Davis and Gose. Personally, the only 2 out of these 4 that I would trade are Davis and Sierra, but I definitely think it’s a scenario you have to take a serious look at, only if you think Hamilton can stay healthy.
3. Marco Scutaro- Although it’s unlikely that he’s going to leave the Giants, Scutaro would be an excellent addition to the lineup He just finished helping them to their second world series in 3 years, winning the NLCS MVP along the way. As some of you may remember, Scutaro was a member of the Jays from 2007-2009, putting up some decent numbers in the brief time he was here. He could wind up being a valuable asset to Toronto, as he can play 3rd, short, and 2nd. These are areas (excluding 3rd) that the Jays aren’t overly confident about, as our starting shortstop is Yunel Escobar and second baseman being Mike Aviles. Personally, as I said before, I think Scutaro is staying in SanFran, but we’ll see.
4. B.J Upton- Snagging B.J Upton in free agency would be a great move for Toronto. Unlike Hamilton, Upton has speed. Not just speed, but power as well. Upton would probably certainly replace Davis, making him and other outfielders (which I named already) expendable. Also, this is a guy who’s played on Tampa Bay his whole career, so he knows the AL East well. People need to understand this… Coming to the AL East, if you haven’t been here before, is insanely difficult. There’s at least 2-3 teams in this division every season competing for a championship. This is why it’s so vaulable when teams can find players that can handle the pressure and know what it’s like to be going up the Yankees, RedSox, Rays and Orioles on a regular basis. If I could go after any free agent this year, it’d probably be Upton.
5. Nick Swisher- Yeah I know… Another outfielder, right? Wrong. This is a guy who has lots of experience at first base, making Adam Lind expendable. Typically, teams expect good numbers from their first basemen, but that wasn’t the case this season. Swisher would be a huge upgrade over Adam Lind, as he would add another dangerous bat in this lineup. Swisher is also a switch hitter, which is a huge bonus, as he can hit well from either side of the plate. Also, as I said before, finding players that can play in the AL East are a commodity, and this is definitely a guy who knows how to play in this division. He put up big numbers for the Yankees this past season, so why couldn’t he do the same with Toronto?
There are many options out there right now, but I don’t know that any of them are even realistic. Lots of players dont like coming to Toronto because of the turf, which would definitely bug the 3 outfielders I mentioned in this post. In my opinion, I still believe the trade route would be the way to go. We only have so much time to find out what will become of our prospects, and now might be the time to start shipping some away.